The Brewers are reuniting with Brad Boxberger, as ESPN’s Jeff Passan (Twitter link) reports that Boxberger has agreed to a new one-year deal. The veteran right-hander will earn $2.5MM in guaranteed money, with up to $550K available in bonuses. The Brewers’ official Twitter feed has announced the signing, and added that the deal contains a club option on Boxberger’s services for the 2023 season. Boxberger will earn $1.75MM in 2022 and has a $750K buyout on a $3MM option, tweets FanSided’s Robert Murray. Boxberger is represented by Paragon Sports International.
After a downturn in performance in 2018 and 2019, Boxberger had to settle for minor league deals with the Marlins prior to the 2020 season, and with the Brew Crew last winter. A 3.00 ERA over 18 innings with Miami in 2020 hinted that Boxberger was starting to return to form, and he bounced all the way back with a strong year in Milwaukee’s bullpen.
The righty posted a 3.34 ERA over 64 2/3 innings in 2021, with a 31.2% strikeout rate that placed Boxberger in the 90th percentile of all pitchers. While his 9.4% walk rate was below average, Boxberger had an otherwise solid showing in most major Statcast categories.
It was enough to land the 33-year-old a guaranteed big league contract, and Boxberger will now aim for an encore as one of the Brewers’ setup men. With Josh Hader still in the closer’s spot, the Brewers are slated to roll out Devin Williams, Brent Suter, and Boxberger for other high-leverage innings, not to mention a plethora of other in-house arms. Milwaukee has also had success in finding unheralded relievers or veterans (like Boxberger) in need of a fresh start, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see more arms added to the relief corps before Opening Day.